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Gov. DeSantis Vetoes Funding for Tampa Bay Rays Facility After Team Tweets Woke Gun Facts

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

While Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) approved a state budget on Thursday, he vetoed a number of items, including the $35 million in funds that would have been used for a new facility for the Tampa Bay Rays. The official veto list describes the item as "Sports Training and Youth Tournament Complex (Senate Form 2754)."


As Bobby Burack reported for OutKick:

Florida residents had called for DeSantis to veto the spending anyway, saying that Floridians’ tax dollars should not help fund a facility for a professional sports team.

The Florida Senate has argued against this case, by listing the proposal as a "Sports Training and Youth Tournament Complex" and not mentioning the Rays. However, the Tampa Bay Times first reported the money would mostly help cover a new facility for the Rays.

When it comes to the Tampa Bay Rays, the argument is not merely that tax dollars should not be going to a facility to be used by a professional sports team. The Tampa Bay Rays found themselves in the news last week when they, along with the New York Yankees, forwent tweeting about game plays for the May 26 match-up to instead tweet gun facts. 

Just minutes before, the team had also tweeted that they had made "a $50,000 commitment" to Everytown for Gun Safety's Support Fund. 

Throughout the game, then, the teams tweeted said facts, though one tweet in particular got attention, as the tweet referred to Hispanics as "Latinx." As I mentioned in my reporting at the time, both teams play in cities with significant Hispanic populations, a demographic which does not favor the term. One recent survey from the City of Los Angeles found that just 1 percent of Hispanics prefer "Latinx." 


One Twitter trend last Friday was "Latinx" in response, and The List was among those calling out the tweet. 

Gov. DeSantis addressed the veto in a press conference on Friday. "I don't support giving taxpayer dollars to professional sports stadiums, period," he said. DeSantis also mentioned though that "companies are free to engage or not engage with whatever discourse they want, but clearly, it's inappropriate to be [providing] tax dollars for a professional sports stadium and it’s also inappropriate to subsidize the political activism of a private corporation."

The governor is not one to take too kindly to woke corporations--such as the Tampa Bay Rays, but also Disney World--being granted special privileges. In April, DeSantis signed legislation ending Disney's special tax status that allowed the theme park to govern autonomously. 

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